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M's, A's vie for series win at O.co Coliseum

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Mariners shoot for a series win on Sunday when they play the rubber match of their abbreviated three-game series against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum.

Seattle won for the fourth time in five games to start the season on Saturday, as Felix Hernandez struck out eight over 8 1/3 stellar innings in the Mariners' 3-1 win.

Dustin Ackley and Abraham Almonte each homered in the fifth to provide plenty of run support for Hernandez, who held Oakland scoreless over eight efficient frames before Jed Lowrie led off the ninth with a drive over the wall in right-center field.

"When he's on like that, it's pretty tough," Ackley said of Hernandez. "Even in the ninth, if they don't hit a home run there, they're probably not scoring. He's throwing that kind of stuff out there. He's tough."

Overall, Hernandez (2-0) scattered six hits and a walk over his outing. The right-hander hasn't taken a loss over his last 10 starts at O.co Coliseum. Closer Fernando Rodney entered from the bullpen and fanned John Jaso and Josh Reddick in succession to nail down his first save with Seattle.

"Especially early on, it looked like he had a little more hop on his fastball," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Hernandez. "We started to get some good swings there at the end against him -- three guys in the eighth hit the ball hard and then leading off the ninth -- but for seven innings, that's about as good as we've seen him."

Dan Straily (0-1) absorbed the hard-luck loss for Oakland after giving up three runs on six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in six innings. Lowrie and Moss combined for four of the six hits for the A's, who claimed Thursday's series opener thanks to Coco Crisp's solo shot in the 12th inning.

Friday's contest was postponed due to poor field conditions at the Coliseum.

Heading to the hill for the Mariners on Sunday will be righty Erasmo Ramirez, who will be going after his second win of the season. Ramirez beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday, holding them to a pair of runs and six hits over seven innings.

"I just knew he was ready," McClendon said. "He did a pretty darn good job of executing his pitches. He made a couple mistakes with strategy early, but other than that, I thought he did a fabulous job."

Ramirez is 0-2 lifetime versus the A's with a 3.78 ERA in four games (3 starts).

Oakland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Sonny Gray, who was terrific on Opening Day, but did not get a decision. Gray held the Cleveland Indians scoreless over six innings, but the A's fell, 2-0.

Gray has faced the Mariners twice and is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.

Seattle was 11-8 versus the A's last season.

04/06 10:10:03 ET

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